Home electrical problems occur more often than many homeowners even know. Some electrical issues will present themselves in odd ways. Here, you'll find a short list of things to watch for around the home that are signs that you have a problem with your electrical system.
Skyrocketing Electricity Bills
If you've lived in your home for at least a year, you know how much your electricity bill should be each month. If you notice a quick increase in usage, there's probably an issue within the system somewhere. Now the problem doesn't have to be in the wiring to cause the usage to rise, but it can be. In some cases, it could be a failing heating element in a hot water heater, furnace or oven that will pull in so much electricity that the power bill goes up. Other times, a bad ground or short in a wire can cause the usage to increase.
The best thing to do when you notice your bills skyrocketing is to call a residential electrician immediately. If you allow things to continue the way that they are without investigating the problem, not only are you going to pay a small fortune in electricity bills, but you're putting your home, your family and all electrical appliances at risk.
Dimming and Flickering Lights
Your home should maintain a steady flow of electricity. If you've noticed a lamp dimming when the refrigerator kicks on or the kitchen light flickering when you use the microwave, there's potentially a problem with an overloaded breaker. If you have too many high-drawing electrical appliances connected to the same breaker, it will cause the lights to dim or flicker when the high-drawing unit kicks on.
If this is the case, you'll need an electrician to come in and try to reconfigure where the appliances are plugged in or make adjustments to the breaker box. Just don't ignore the problem, as it will reduce the life of your appliances if you do.
Another sign that you should be aware of is touch zaps – when you touch something and feel a bit of a zap. For example, if you touch your electric stove and feel as if you've been shocked, there's a problem with a ground wire. It could be in the appliance or it could be in the wiring somewhere. This can lead to serious problems.
Contact your local residential electrician for assistance in finding the electrical problems within your home before they get too serious.